Supporting Hydro-Affected Communities - Augmented Flow

Illustrated diagram showing the harm of augmented flow on northern communities.

Participate in Our Letter-Writing Campaign: Write, Email MLAs and demand that they listen to communities who bear the consequences of Manitoba's "clean" energy.

The Augmented Flow Program permits Manitoba Hydro to exceed water level changes of South Indian Lake beyond what outlined in the original license.  This fluctuation of lake water levels is a very destructive operation of questionable necessity.

Cut and paste the following letter into your email and then add the addresses of the MLAs listed below (feel free to email all or just some of them).  The full list to easily cut and paste once is at the bottom of the page.  Please bcc info@mbenergyjustice.org so that we can track and make a bigger story out of our actions.

Thank you for your time and energy; the few minutes you have spent on this makes a world of difference! While you're at it, take a look at this graphic which explains the Augmented Flow Program and its impacts. 


This letter is a meant as a template. Please be encouraged to either pull from this
letter in crafting your own, or to send “as is” in support of communities affected by hydroelectric
development and the Augmented Flow Program. 

Personalizing the email and subject line will increase your impact!

SUBJECT LINE: Government of Manitoba: Consult First Nations on MB Hydro’s Augmented Flow Program

Dear Members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly,

While looking forward to the advent of spring, I wish to draw to your attention to a particular concern of
northern communities where the seasonal thaw spells not hope of renewal but threat of renewed danger
and loss.

I understand that, in response to a request from Manitoba Hydro made in mid-February 2018, the
Department of Sustainable Development is preparing to grant the corporation an annual authorization to
deviate from its Churchill River Diversion Interim Licence, an authorization also known as the
Augmented Flow Program (AFP). It is a deviation from the Licence too serious to be signed behind
closed doors. The AFP directly impacts the lives of citizens of this province, and I request that your
government review it, in consultation with the people most affected, before it is authorized this spring.
Since 1986, Manitoba Hydro has received this authorization to operate the Churchill River Diversion
outside of its Interim Licence in order to achieve its desired flows through the hydroelectric system.
Specifically, the Augmented Flow Program permits Manitoba Hydro to exceed by 1.5 feet the maximum
upper and lower elevations of South Indian Lake and exceed the licensed drawdown of 2 feet in any 12-
month period by another 2.5 feet. This permits a 4.5-foot fluctuation of lake elevation—a very destructive
operation of questionable necessity.

Along with other deviations from the licence that AFP permits, these changes result in profound loss to
the community of South Indian Lake. Community members report flooding that destroys lakeshores, fish
habitats and property. A once lucrative fishing industry has been decimated, as has the physical, cultural,
and spiritual sustenance of the people. Yet the annual AFP authorization stipulates that Manitoba Hydro
must “fully mitigate any effects of the altered levels and flows.” I urge the Government to uphold the
terms of the authorization and bring Manitoba Hydro to account.

Moreover, I urge the Government to examine the AFP in the context of Manitoba Hydro’s request for a
Final Licence for operation of the Churchill River Diversion. Made on May 6, 2009, and currently under
review, the request seeks to wrap the AFP into the Final Licence. Without consultation with communities,
however, this would constitute an abuse of the regulatory process. The Interim Licence is the written
contract, the original terms. The terms of AFP are substantively different, and to license AFP must
involve those who suffer its consequences.

In sum, the people of South Indian Lake have paid an extraordinary price for the benefit of
hydroelectricity that I and every Manitoban has enjoyed with pride in using “clean energy,” although it
should not be called that today. I call upon the Government of Manitoba to make it truly clean: Halt the
unexamined approval of AFP. Consult with impacted communities.

(end of letter)


Honourable Brian Pallister - Premier of Manitoba

Honourable Cliff Cullen - Minister of Crown Service

Honourable Rochelle Squires - Minister of Sustainable Development

Wab Kinew - Leader of the Official Opposition

Tom Lindsey - MLA - Flin Flon

Amanda Lathlin - Critic for Indigenous and Northern Relations

Rob Altemeyer - Critic for Environment and Climate Change

Jim Maloway - Critic for Infrastructure; Critic for Consumer Affairs

bcc: info@mbenergyjustice.org
(helps us with important tracking)

Easy cut and paste all emails:


bcc: info@mbenergyjustice.org
(helps us track so that we can report and promote in media)

List of all MLAs: http://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/members/mla_list_alphabetical.html



Supporting Hydro-Affected Communities - Augmented Flow
Supporting Hydro-Affected Communities - Augmented Flow